The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

January 20, 2014

EC ranks 84th in per-pupil spending


TARBORO — A 2013 finance study conducted by the Public School Forum of North Carolina reveals vast disparities in per pupil spending between low-wealth and high-wealth counties.

In the 2011-2012 school year, Orange County (Hillsborough) spent $4,183 per student, while Swain County (Cherokee) spent only $399. Average per pupil spending in North Carolina was $1,486. Edgecombe County spent $974 per student that school year, ranking 84th out of 100 counties.

“This does limit the amount of resources that we can place in the classroom, such as in supplies, technology, materials, and personnel,” Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) Superintendent John Farrelly said.

The differences in spending are primarily based on property wealth available to counties to support education. Farrelly noted Edgecombe ranks 83rd out of 100 counties in real estate wealth, which directly impacts the county’s per pupil spending.

“I don’t think that more money equates to better education,” said Edgecombe County Board of Education chair Ann Kent.

For the complete story, see today's print edition of The Daily Southerner.